Wearing Out the Days-unwind

Wearing Out the Days

4 Apr 2022 – 5 May 2022
REY Space, RMIT University

Robyn Phelan has generated a Feminist narrative in her material choice and the labour of her process. Wearing out the days records the lived experience of a Melbourne lockdown and reflects on definitions of the home and gendered care. Wider narratives cast new light on the role of an art object’s relationship to utility, sustainability, metaphor, and play.

Body-worn textile material, denim jeans, t-shirts, and tea towels were sourced from the artist’s home during lockdown. Utilised as an alternative malleable matter, textile was compressed on and in ceramic forms made pre-pandemic when studio access prevailed.  The ceramic forms feature handles and holding spaces and they indexically trace the manner of making. The clay surface is washed with terra sigillata, an ancient decorative practice that gives a flesh-like patina. Deconstructed clothing was twined, stitched and padded. These intimate assemblages compress care, repetition, tacit knowledge, and time into their generation.

Wearing out the days offers an overview of themes, strategies, and materials explored by the artist in her current PhD research. This series of sculptural gestures expands a ceramic practice and evidence the artist’s ongoing correspondence between clay and textile materiality.

Artworks in Exhibition

Wearing out the days-panorama view
Wearing Out the Days - panorama view
Wearing Out the Days-corridor
Wearing Out the Days - corridor installation

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